His Show to Run

One of two senior linebackers amidst a talented, yet young, linebacker group, middle linebacker Culmer St. Jean is ready to fill the void.

MADISON - Jae McFadden was outspoken leader of the defense and his statistics backed up his play. With McFadden pushing for a NFL career, Culmer St. Jean, a quiet contributor on last year's defense, is ready to take over.

Finished second on team with 63 tackles and tied for third with four pass breakups, St. Jean played in all 13 games, starting 12, and made four or more tackles nine times during the season.

Named UW's co-defensive player of the week after setting career-highs with 15 tackles, 2.0 TFLs and recovered the first fumble of his career against Wofford, St. Jean has chiseled his frame, has added speed and told Badger Nation what he learned from McFadden's guidance.

BN: You are the returning senior linebacker, what did McFadden teach you about this new role?

St. Jean: Just to play fast. You already know the game, don't make no mistakes, just play fast and have fun really.

BN: McFadden always seemed dressed up, any style tips he passed on?

St. Jean: (laughing) He has his own style, and I have my own. We are both from Florida, but other than that, we each have different styles.

BN: What in the way of leadership qualities has McFadden helped you with?

St. Jean: We were all vocal last year. Him being a senior, you listened to what he had to say. Every game was his last. I just look at it that way. This is my final year, so every game is very important to me.

St. Jean: Just the physical aspect. Understanding the scheme, understanding where you need to be at the exact time. Minor details are really what put us up over the top to being such a good run defense.

BN: In particular, what makes you such a force against the run?

St. Jean: I am big, and I love contact. That is why I play football. Just knowing the defense, knowing where everybody is, and being able to clean up others mistakes. As a middle linebacker that is your job, if someone makes a mistake, you have to be there to erase it.

BN: What makes the tandem of you and Blake Sorensen rotating in the middle so effective?

St. Jean: It makes it fun. You never know what you are going to get and you never know what we are going to bring to the table. Just knowing that [Blake] is so dependable makes it fun. The chemistry is there, I already know what he is thinking before he says it.

BN: With both Borland and Taylor out, how has it been working in new, young linebackers?

St. Jean: Interesting. Definitely interesting. As spring ball progresses, they definitely keep getting better, making unbelievable strides. They are making plays in the run, plays in the pass. The future looks pretty bright. They are right there, they are borderline now, but they will start to make plays soon.

BN: How did the winter go for you?

St. Jean: We hit it hard. We had a great season last year, but we still have a lot to prove. We are looking to do something amazing this year. I leaned down a little bit, took away some of the body fat, but still kept my weight up.

BN: Favorite part of spring ball?

St. Jean: Just being able to hit. After lifting, you just want to play football. Watching film, you just want to get out here and play some football.

BN: Did you put a little more force in that first tackle? Could Zach Brown feel it?

St. Jean: (laughing) Yeah he might have. Even with the first two days in just helmets, we were tackling in helmets. Everybody wanted to hit.

BN: Worst part of spring ball?

St. Jean: (laughing) Classes.

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